Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Ripa and Sands named new CAS associate deans

Augustine Ripa, professor of theatre, and Jeffrey Sands, professor of biological sciences, have been appointed associate deans of Lehigh University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“Gus and Jeff have been invaluable members of the College faculty and accomplished scholars in their respective fields,” says Anne Meltzer, the Herbert J. and Ann L. Siegel Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. “The contributions they’ve made in teaching, research and mentoring and their strong commitment to this university will bolster our offerings, sustain our competitiveness and provide support to our students, staff, and faculty.”

The College of Arts and Sciences is Lehigh’s largest college and home to 18 academic departments in the social sciences, arts, humanities, and natural sciences. The College has 2,100 undergraduate students, 540 graduate students, 212 full-time faculty and a professional staff of 75.

Ripa has been named associate dean for undergraduate studies where he is responsible for oversight and strategic planning to sustain the quality and competitiveness of the college’s undergraduate programs. He serves as the college’s primary link to the Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Life, and has an active role in the review of the first-year experience for undergraduates. In addition, he provides oversight and support for undergraduate advising in the college.

Ripa has been a member of the faculty for 29 years and is founding chairperson of the Department of Theatre. He holds an MFA in directing from Northwestern University and taught in the Drama School of Illinois Wesleyan University for three years before coming to Lehigh as an assistant professor in 1979. For 20 years he was also a member of the graduate faculty of Loyola University Chicago.

At Lehigh, Ripa has appeared as an actor in a variety of productions including The Elephant Man, The Madwoman of Chaillot Talley’s Folly, and The Tempest. He has directed numerous plays in the Wilbur Drama Workshop and the Zoellner Arts Center—including recent productions of The Country Wife, Three Sisters, Proof, The Birds, The Misanthrope, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Miss Julie, and A Streetcar Named Desire. He serves as advisor to the Mustard & Cheese Drama Society and is currently a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, and serves as an on-site accreditation evaluator.

Sands has been named associate dean for faculty and staff. In this position he is responsible for strategic planning for College of Arts and Sciences personnel and working with faculty on recruitment, retention and retirement issues. He will also oversee the faculty mentoring program and serve as an adviser to faculty on college and university procedures.

A faculty member for 35 years, Sands most recently served as chairperson of the Department of Biological Sciences. He and his research students have published over 50 journal articles in biophysics, molecular biology, and virology. His experimental research programs on viruses, bacteria, and fungi have been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, and several pharmaceutical companies.

In 1982, Sands was the first recipient of the College of Engineering’s Service Teaching Award. He received the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation Award in 1983 and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for distinguished teaching by a senior member of the faculty in 1999. In 2007, the 10-year Lehigh alumni class of 1997 presented Sands with the Deming Lewis Award for having “most significantly influenced its members’ educational experience.”

Barbara Traister, professor of English, will continue in her role as associate dean for research and graduate studies.

--Tricia Long

Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2008

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